Floods destroy P58-M worth of agricultural crops in Central Luzon; state of calamity recommended for Pampanga

September 11, 2009 11:04 am 

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Sept. 11 –About P58-million worth of agricultural crops were destroyed in Central Luzon as floodwaters brought by continuous heavy rains submerged the region in the past days.

In the latest report of the Office of the Civil Defense-Region 3, floodwaters affected some 201, 521, 163 hectares of rice lands in the region.

Reports showed that Tarlac was worst hit by flooding, destroying P32,43-million worth of agricultural crops, representing more than 50 percent of the total losses in the region.

A total of 90,596 hectares of rice lands in Tarlac were heavily affected by strong rains.

Zambales suffered the next worst crop damage to Tarlac. A total of 12,423 hectares, planted with rice, were destroyed by floods with an estimated value of P10.25 million.

Damage to agriculture in Pampanga, on the other hand, reached P9.6 million with 37,788 affected rice lands.

In Bulacan, a total of 47,481 hectares were hit by massive flooding with an estimated damage cost of P2.23 million.

OCD reports also showed that about 25,642 hectares of rice lands were affected by floods in Zambales. An estimated damage to agriculture was pegged at P3.66 million.

As this developed, the Pampanga Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC), headed by its chair Governor Eddie T. Panlilio, unanimously called for the declaration of the province as a calamity area.

The PDCC, in issuing Resolution No.4, series of 2009, recommended the declaration of the state of calamity in the province due to the massive flooding caused by the southwest monsoon rains and tropical depression Maring.

The resolution cited the reported 41,224 families or 189,373 individuals who were affected by a foot to five- foot deep floodwaters in 16 out of the 21 towns of Pampanga.

The floodwaters were enough to paralyze the economic activities in the areas as some roads became impassable to light vehicles.

The monsoon rains and the tropical depression also caused the widespread destruction of crops, fishponds, poultry, livestocks and other agriculture products which need immediate rehabilitation.

The damage to infrastructure was also cited as basis of the resolution, recognizing the need to rehabilitate the protection dikes and secondary roads.

The PDCC based its recommendation on the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Memo Order No.4, series of 1998, which states that "when two or more municipalities are affected by the disaster, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), upon the recommendation of the Governor, may declare the province under a state of calamity.”

Panlilio, together with provincial administrator lawyer Vivian T. Dabu and SP members expressed the urgent need “to act and prevent any further damage to life and property and for people to go on with the business of normal and productive living.” (PNA)

RMA/zst/ps

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